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Outside/In

A podcast in which curiosity and the natural world collide. Outside /n is hosted by Nate Hegyi, and is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio.

  • Introducing the newest series from NHPR’s award-winning Document team: “The Youth Development Center.” New Hampshire has sent its most troubled kids to the same juvenile detention center for more than a century. It's a place that was supposed to nurture them, that instead hurt them – in some of the worst ways imaginable. It's now at the center of one of the biggest youth detention scandals in American history. How did this happen – and how did it finally come to light?The rest of the series is available now: listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, iHeart Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode includes content that may not be suitable for young listeners. If you have suffered abuse and need someone to talk to, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. If you’re in a mental health crisis, call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8.
  • Maybe you’ve looked at the sky on a clear night and spotted the International Space Station, a tiny white dot gliding through the stars. Maybe it felt special, a rare glimpse of a human-made satellite in space. But what if you were to look up at the sky and see more visible satellites than stars? What if the Big Dipper and Orion were drowned out by a satellite traffic jam, criss-crossing through space? A growing number of astronomers are sounding the alarm about such a possibility, even within the next decade. A new space race is already well underway. Commercial satellite traffic in low Earth orbit has skyrocketed in recent years, with more satellites launched into space than ever before. The majority of these satellites are owned and operated by a single company: Starlink. Featuring Samantha Lawler, Jonathan McDowell, Aaron Boley, and Roohi Dalal, with thanks to Edward Oughton. SUPPORTOutside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member. Subscribe to our newsletter to get occasional emails about new show swag, call-outs for listener submissions, and other announcements.Follow Outside/In on Instagram or Twitter, or join our private discussion group on Facebook. LINKSHere’s a link to the most popular proceedings in the FCC docket, and a step-by-step guide for submitting your own comments (this guide was compiled for a previous filing by an advocacy group which includes Samantha Lawler).COMPASSE, or the Committee for the Protection of Astronomy and the Space Environment, also stays up-to-date on FCC procedures.In this episode, Nate and Justine looked at this 3D rendering of satellite constellations around the globe, including GPS and Starlink. Space Data Navigator has nice visualizations of the number of launches, satellites, and debris over time, which relies in part on Jonathan McDowell’s data. Aaron Boley’s article in Nature, “Satellite mega-constellations create risks in Low Earth Orbit, the atmosphere and on Earth.”A talk by Samantha Lawler about Kuiper belt objects and the challenges to astronomy posed by sharp increase in satellites. An open-access paper which found that internet from satellite mega-constellations could be up to 12-14 times more emission-intensive than terrestrial broadband.For more from Outside/In on the “earth-space environmental system,” check out our episode on property rights in airspace and space-space, this one on the element of aluminum, and an oldie-but-a-goodie on geoengineering.A piece on the cutting room floor: the risk that you’ll get hit by satellite debris falling back to Earth is quite low… but the risk that someone will get hit is rising. Here’s a global map of light pollution, and a tool to find dark sky sites near you.On the issue of orbital crowding, there have been a couple notable traffic jams in space. Last month, a decommissioned Russian satellite disintegrated in low Earth orbit, posing potential risks to astronauts on board the ISS. In 2019, an important weather-monitoring satellite had to dodge a Starlink satellite, a fuel-expensive maneuver. In 2021, Starlink and OneWeb debated what really happened when their satellites passed within 190 feet of each other in orbit. A note on space regulationOur episode did not cover all the groups regulating space. At a global level, this includes the UN’s International Telecommunication Union and the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs. Within the United States, the Office of Space Commerce also plays a role, in addition to the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission CREDITSOutside/In host: Nate HegyiReported, produced, and mixed by Justine Paradis Edited by Taylor QuimbyOur team also includes Felix Poon. NHPR’s Director of Podcasts is Rebecca LavoieMusic in this episode came from Victor Lundberg, Lofive, Harbours & Oceans, Spiegelstadt, Curved Mirror, Silver Maple, Wave Saver, Cobby Costa, and From Now On.The blue whale calls were recorded by NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio.
  • Consider the potato. The typical potato is not all that pretty. They can be beige and lumpy, dusty and speckled, and on top of that, they even sprout alien-like tentacles. Further, no one really knows what to make of the potato. Is it a vegetable, or so starchy that we should really consider it a grain? It’s time for answers. The Outside/In team ventures into the potato patch and presents three stories on this “fifth most important crop worldwide.” Part 1: An artist vaults the humble potato to luxury status.Part 2: A deliberation on the potato’s true place in the food pyramid – or, that is, on “MyPlate.”Part 3: When his mom was diagnosed with cancer, producer Felix Poon’s dad found a way to help her: fresh-squeezed potato juice. Featuring Laila Gohar, Kristina Peterson, and Paul Poon. SUPPORTOutside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or join our private discussion group on Facebook.Subscribe to our newsletter for occasional updates and special announcements. LINKSLaila Gohar wrote about her potato party, and the Marie-Antoinette-era rebrand of the potato, in her column for the Financial Times. For more details on the French pharmacist who transformed the potato’s image, check out this Atlas Obscura piece.For a vinegary and vegetable-forward potato salad, Justine recommends this recipe from the great Deb Perelman.Taylor recommends these vegan Bombay potatoes and peas (this is the closest recipe he could find online to the book recipe he uses at home).Felix recommends trying Sichuan stir-fried potatoes from an authentic Sichuan Chinese restaurant if you haven’t had it before, and then give this Woks of Life recipe a try.If you find yourself near the U.S.-Mexico border, Nate recommends you try some carne asada fries. Here’s a good recipe if you want to try them at home. CREDITSHost: Nate HegyiReported and produced by Nate Hegyi, Justine Paradis, and Felix PoonMixed by Nate Hegyi, Justine Paradis, and Felix Poon.Editing by Executive Producer Taylor QuimbyRebecca Lavoie is NHPR’s Director of On-Demand AudioOur intern is Catherine Hurley.Music by Blue Dot Sessions and Patrick Patrikios.Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder.Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public RadioSubmit a question to the “Outside/Inbox.” We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).Episode art courtesy of Laila Gohar.
  • Ed Yong’s writing about the pandemic in Atlantic Magazine was read by millions of Americans. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for his coverage. But behind the scenes, he was struggling with burnout, anxiety and depression. Host Nate Hegyi sits down with Ed for a conversation about how he decided to step back from pandemic reporting, the benefits (and possible drawbacks) of birdwatching for mental health, and the unexpected club that’s bringing two halves of his life together. Featuring Ed Yong. SUPPORTOutside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or join our private discussion group on Facebook. LINKSEd wrote an eerily predictive story about how America was not prepared for a pandemic in 2018. You can find a link to all of Ed’s reporting for Atlantic Magazine here. A description of “spoon theory” in Psychology Today.For more information about the Spoonbill Club, check out Ed’s newsletter. CREDITSHost: Nate HegyiReported and produced by Nate HegyiMixed by Taylor Quimby, with help from our intern, Catherine HurleyEditing by Taylor QuimbyOur staff includes Justine Paradise and Felix PoonExecutive producer: Taylor QuimbyRebecca Lavoie is NHPR’s Director of On-Demand AudioMusic by Blue Dot SessionsOur theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder.Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public RadioSubmit a question to the “Outside/Inbox.” We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).
  • During their twelve seasons as winter rangers in Yosemite National Park, Rob and Laura Pilewski have learned a thing or two about what it means to love a place – and a person.This episode comes to us from the wonderful folks at The Dirtbag Diaries, another podcast that features stories about conservation, epic adventures, and more. Featuring Rob and Laura Pilewski SUPPORTOutside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or join our private discussion group on Facebook. CREDITSHost of The Dirtbag Diaries: Fitz CahallThis episode was reported, produced and edited by Lauren DeLaunay MillerMixing by Evan PhillipsThe Dirtbag Diaries Executive Producer: Becca CahallMusic from Jacob Bain & Nis Kotto, Brian Bombadil, Joya, Roma 49, Garland, and Brendan O’ConnellOutside/In Host: Nate HegyiExecutive producer: Taylor QuimbyRebecca Lavoie is NHPR’s Director of On-Demand AudioOur staff includes Justine Paradis, and Felix Poon. Catherine Hurley is our intern. Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public RadioSubmit a question to the “Outside/Inbox.” We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).
  • What do wolves, waste-water treatment plants, and the Gulf Stream have in common? This episode, that’s what! It’s that wonderful time when we comb through all your wonderful questions and call up some scientists to help us answer them. Some of the more unlikely things that get brought up include dinosaur pee, abandoned shopping carts, and wolves preying on cheese curds. Here’s what’s on the docket:Why is dog saliva slimier than human saliva? Why do wolves get relocated in the middle of winter?What if the Gulf Stream “shut down?”How do wastewater treatment plants work? Featuring Eric Odell, Alice Ren, and Sri Vedachalam. SUPPORTOutside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or join our private discussion group on Facebook. CREDITSHost: Nate HegyiReported, produced, and mixed by Taylor Quimby, Justine Paradis, and Felix PoonEditing by Taylor Quimby.Executive producer: Taylor QuimbyRebecca Lavoie is NHPR’s Director of On-Demand AudioMusic by Blue Dot Sessions, Baegul, Hatamitsunami, and King Sis.Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder.Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public RadioSubmit a question to the “Outside/Inbox.” We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).
  • Every December, during the Christmas Bird Count, tens of thousands of volunteers look to the skies for an international census of wild birds. But during migration season, a much smaller squad of New York City volunteers take on a more sobering experience: counting dead birds that have collided with glass buildings and fallen back to Earth. In this episode, we find out what kind of people volunteer for this grisly job, visit the New York City rehab center that takes in injured pigeons, and find out how to stop glass from killing an estimated one billion birds nationwide every year. Featuring Melissa Breyer, Linda LaBella, Gitanjali Bhattacharjee, Katherine Chen, and Tristan Higginbotham SUPPORTOutside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our newsletter (it’s free!).Follow Outside/In on Instagram or join our private discussion group on Facebook. LINKSWant to see the migration forecast? Check out Birdcast. Want to be a citizen scientist and report dead birds? Check out dBird. Want to see volunteer Melissa Breyer’s photos of dead birds? Check out Sad Birding.More about Project Safe Flight. CREDITSHost: Nate HegyiReported, produced, and mixed by Taylor QuimbyEditing by Rebecca Lavoie and Nate Hegyi.Our staff includes Justine Paradis and Felix Poon Executive producer: Taylor QuimbyRebecca Lavoie is NHPR’s Director of On-Demand AudioMusic by Blue Dot Sessions.Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public RadioSubmit a question to the “Outside/Inbox.” We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).
  • The Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC is sometimes called “the people’s zoo.” That’s because it’s the only zoo in the country to be created by an act of US Congress, and admission is free.But why did our federal government create a national zoo in the first place?Producer Felix Poon has the scoop – from its surprising origins in the near-extinction of bison, to a look at its modern-day mission of conservation, we’re going on a field trip to learn all about the National Zoo.Featuring Kara Ingraham, Daniel Frank, and Ellie Tahmaseb. SUPPORTOutside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our newsletter (it’s free!).Follow Outside/In on Instagram or join our private discussion group on Facebook. LINKSWilliam Hornaday founded the National Zoo, but his legacy is complicated, to say the least. Environmental journalist Michelle Nijhuis contemplates whether he’s a “villainous hero or heroic villain” (PBS).“A Chinese cigarette tin launched D.C.’s 50-year love affair with pandas” tells the origin story of pandas at the National Zoo (The Washington Post).The story of Ota Benga, the man who was caged by William Hornaday in the Bronx Zoo (The Guardian).Environmental writer Emma Marris imagines a world without zoos in her opinion essay, “Modern Zoos Are Not Worth the Moral Cost” (NYTimes).We looked at the court case of Happy the elephant in our 2022 Outside/In episode, “Et Tu, Brute? The Case for Human Rights for Animals.” CREDITSHost: Nate HegyiReported, produced, and mixed by Felix PoonEditing by Taylor Quimby.Our staff includes Justine ParadisExecutive producer: Taylor QuimbyRebecca Lavoie is NHPR’s Director of On-Demand AudioThanks to Nick Capodice for performing William Hornaday voiceovers.Music by Bluedot Sessions and Jules GaiaOur theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder.Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public RadioSubmit a question to the “Outside/Inbox.” We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).
  • While digging a well in 1750, a group of workers accidentally discovered an ancient Roman villa containing over a thousand papyrus scrolls. This was a stunning discovery: the only library from antiquity ever found in situ. But the scrolls were blackened and fragile, turned almost to ash by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.Over the centuries, scholars’ many attempts to unroll the fragile scrolls have mostly been catastrophic. But now, scientists are trying again, this time with the help of Silicon Valley and some of the most advanced technology we’ve got: particle accelerators, CT scanners, and AI.After two thousand years, will we finally be able to read the scrolls?Featuring Federica Nicolardi, Brent Seales, Youssef Nader, Arefeh Sherafati, and Julian Schilliger. SUPPORTDonate $10 per month and get our new “I axolotl questions” mug!Follow Outside/In on Instagram or Twitter, or join our private discussion group on Facebook. LINKSThe Vesuvius Challenge is not over. Find out more here. Check out more pictures of the scrolls and the process of “virtual unwrapping” at the Digital Restoration Initiative website, or watch Brent Seales lecture about his technique.A 60 Minutes story (2018) focusing on the conflict between Seales and scholars Vito Mocella and Graziano Ranocchia.A replica of the marble floor discovered by Italian farmworkers in 1750. A video illustrating the process of “virtual unwrapping” with a jelly roll.Contestant Casey Handmer’s blog post detailing his identification of the “crackle signal” to the ink. CREDITSOutside/In host: Nate HegyiReported, produced, and mixed by Justine Paradis Edited by Taylor QuimbyOur team also includes Felix Poon. NHPR’s Director of Podcasts is Rebecca LavoieMusic in this episode came from Silver Maple, Xavy Rusan, bomull, Young Community, Bio Unit, Konrad OldMoney, Chris Zabriski, and Blue Dot Sessions.Volcano recordings came from daveincamas on Freesound.org, License Attribution 4.0 and felix.blume on freesound.org, Creative Commons 0.Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio.
  • The Colorado River – and the people that rely on it – are in a state of crisis. Climate change and overuse are taking a significant toll. Seven states must compromise and reach a solution to prevent the river from collapsing.In late 2023, tensions were running high between the major players in the water world as they convened at the annual Colorado River conference in Las Vegas. LAist Correspondent Emily Guerin was there, seeking to learn as much as she can about the people with the most power on the river, including a sharply-dressed 28-year-old from California. This episode comes to us from the podcast Imperfect Paradise, which is releasing a whole series on the Colorado River water crisis. SUPPORTDonate $10 per month and get our new “I axolotl questions” mug!Outside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our newsletter (it’s free!).Follow Outside/In on Instagram or join our private discussion group on Facebook. LINKSAgriculture uses a lot of the Colorado River - what if we replaced that farmland with solar panels? Speaking of farms, most of the crops raised with Colorado River water don’t go to people. They go to cows. CREDITSThis episode was written and reported by Emily GuerinImperfect Paradise host: Antonia CereijidoFact-checking by Gabriel Dunatov. Mixing and Imperfect Paradise theme music by E. Scott Kelly with additional music by Andrew Eapen.Outside/In Host: Nate HegyiOutside/In Executive producer: Taylor QuimbyOur staff includes Justine Paradis and Felix PoonRebecca Lavoie is NHPR’s Director of On-Demand AudioOutside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public RadioSubmit a question to the “Outside/Inbox.” We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).
  • You might associate it with the foil that wraps leftover pizza and the shiny craft beer cans sold in breweries, but aluminum is literally everywhere. Scoop up a handful of soil or gravel anywhere on Earth, and you’ll find atoms of bonded aluminum hidden inside. Over the past 150 years, that abundance has led production of the silvery metal to skyrocket (pun intended) and created an industry responsible for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But even before it was used in everything from airplanes to deodorant, the trade of aluminum minerals helped color the world, finance the Vatican, and led to the mass collection of human urine.In this episode, we’re piloting a new segment called “The Element of Surprise.” It’s all about the hidden histories behind the periodic table’s most unassuming atoms, isotopes, and molecules. And we’re kicking things off with aluminum.Editor's note: A previous version of this episode misstated the number of Allied casualties during a 1943 bombing campaign against a German cryolite factory, claiming all but one of 180 bombers were destroyed. In actuality, all but one of 180 bombers returned home safely. The episode has been corrected. SUPPORTOutside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our newsletter (it’s free!).Follow Outside/In on Instagram or join our private discussion group on Facebook. LINKSThe World Economic Forum has published a number of studies and articles on the need to decarbonize the aluminum industry and the promising technologies that might help us get there. A few years ago, Alcoa announced plans to build a new aluminum smelting plant in Maniitsoq, Greenland. PBS’s POV released a documentary about how people there reckoned with the island’s colonial past as the project progressed, stalled, and eventually collapsed. The National Park Service has a fun little read about the Washington Monument’s aluminum tip. Sean Adams, at the University of Florida, wrote an excellent recap of the U.S. government’s antitrust case against aluminum giant Alcoa. Here’s another one from Foreign Policy about how industrial cartels and monopolies helped Hitler gain power. Check out Charlie Halloran’s “The Alcoa Sessions,” to imagine what kind of music might have been played during Alcoa’s cruise voyages between New Orleans and Jamaica between 1949 and 1959. CREDITSHost: Nate HegyiReported, mixed, and produced by Taylor QuimbyMixed by Taylor QuimbyEditing by Rebecca Lavoie, with help from Nate Hegyi and Felix PoonOur staff includes Justine Paradis Executive producer: Taylor QuimbyRebecca Lavoie is NHPR’s Director of On-Demand AudioMusic by Blue Dot Sessions, Ryan James Carr, and L.M. StylesOutside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public RadioSubmit a question to the “Outside/Inbox.” We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).
  • When officials commissioned a set of updated hazard maps for Juneau, Alaska, they thought the information would help save lives and spur new development. Instead, the new maps drew public outcry from people who woke up to discover their homes were at risk of being wiped out by landslides.What’s followed has been a multiyear project – not to address the challenges posed by climate-fueled landslides – but to alter, ignore, or otherwise shelve the maps that outline the threat in the first place.Host Nate Hegyi visits Juneau to see one example of why, across the country, even the most progressive Americans are rejecting tough truths about climate change when it comes knocking at their own back door.Featuring: Tom Mattice, Christine Woll, Eve Soutiere, and Lloyd Dixon. SUPPORTOutside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our newsletter (it’s free!).Follow Outside/In on Instagram or join our private discussion group on Facebook. LINKSYou can check out Juneau’s new hazard maps, along with many of its neighborhood meetings, on their website. Dive into why the insurance industry stopped providing landslide coverage to Southeast Alaska.KTOO had a wonderful story on how a 1936 landslide that killed 15 people in Juneau became a faded memory.Zach Provant, a researcher at the University of Oregon, spent months investigating the rollout of Juneau’s hazard maps. CREDITSHost: Nate HegyiReported and produced by Nate HegyiEdited by Taylor Quimby and Katie ColaneriEditing help from Felix Poon and Justine ParadisRebecca Lavoie is our Executive ProducerMusic for this episode by Blue Dot SessionsOur theme music is by Breakmaster CylinderOutside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public RadioSubmit a question to the “Outside/Inbox.” We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).